Choose Development! FAQ

What is Choose Development!?
Choose Development! is a paid summer undergraduate research training program run by the Society for Developmental Biology for students from underrepresented or traditionally excluded groups in STEM, first generation college students, or those with disabilities interested in pursuing research careers in developmental biology.


What is the definition of underrepresented or traditionally excluded groups in STEM for the Choose Development! program?    
Black/African Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans/Aboriginals, Native Hawaiians and US Pacific Islanders. Individuals not belonging in groups listed above, but demonstrated convincingly to be underrepresented in STEM may apply.  Such exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. (see Populations Underrepresented in the Extramural Scientific Workforce | SWD at NIH).

What is a first-generation college student?
An undergraduate student who does not have a parent who has completed at least a bachelor's degree.

I am interested in a medical career rather than a research career. Is Choose Development! appropriate for me?
Not really, unless you are also considering an MD/PhD program. Choose Development’s main goal is to diversify the graduate population going into STEM research careers.


When will I find out if I have been selected for the program?
Typically, decisions are made in early March.

How are Fellows and Mentors matched?
Prospective Fellows indicate their areas of research interest on the application. If selected, they will be provided a list of laboratories with similar interests at Universities/Colleges throughout the US and Canada. Fellows select labs they are interested in. Virtual interviews are arranged, and if mutually agreed, the match is made.

Can the PI applying as my academic mentor also write my letter of recommendation?
Yes, your PI may write your letter of recommendation. They must also submit a separate Choose Development! Mentor application.


What are the dates of the 10-week program?
Your start and finish dates are flexible, depending on when your school year ends and begins. You and your Academic Mentor will agree on official start and end dates.

Is there a travel allowance if I pursue research outside of my home institution?

Is there a housing allowance?
Yes, $1,000 for those who stay at their home institution (Option 1). Those pursuing research outside their home institution (Option 2) will be provided on-campus housing.

How much is the 10-week stipend? When is it paid?
The $5,500 stipend is paid in two installments, during the 2nd and 8th weeks of training, if performance is satisfactory.

Are health benefits included?

Can I work at a job during the training period?
No, Choose Development! is a paid 10-week intensive research opportunity that is full-time.

Can I take a summer school course during the training period?
Yes, if your Academic Mentor agrees and your hours are adjusted accordingly. Tuition is the Fellow’s responsibility.

Will I meet the other Choose Development! Fellows?
Yes, we will have weekly group virtual sessions with all the Fellows and Choose Development! leadership.

Where will the 2024 SDB annual meeting be held?
The in-person conference is planned for Atlanta, Georgia.